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  • Greed
  • Customer reviews

on June 24, 2016
I am glad for those that like it.

Rick Schmidlin
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on November 6, 2004
Most of the reviews that I have read for the movie "Greed" start off with a short history of the movie. For film fans, watching this movie is like watching history. Director Erich von Stroheim directed this movie with a whooping ten hours of a movie. The studio made him cut it, so he cut it to about four hours. It was still too long. Back at the time, movies that ran over one hour were long, so the studio chopped his masterpiece work up to a little over two hours. A little over two hours from what was once ten hours long. The studio wants to recycle the film, so the completed ten hours of material is now considered the "Holy Grail" of the cinema. What me and millions of other people would do to see the entire thing. . . The version I saw was a four hour restored version, replacing some of the missing scenes with still photographs. I watched it from 1:45am to 6:00am one night, and what a journey! I was finished wanting more. It was one of the best nights I spent watching a movie. I was totally blown away. It was something different than the silent movies that I saw prior, the old Lon Cheney and Harold Lloyd movies.

"Greed" starts off to the introduction of McTeague. He becomes a dentist in San Francisco, and he wants a golden bird that he sees in a shop window more than anything. When one of his friends, Marcus, comes in with his love interest Trina, who has a chipped tooth, McTeague falls in love, and he must contain himself from doing anything to her while she is in the chair. The two fall in love, and Marcus gives McTeague his blessing. The first hour and a half deals with their relationship, and then their marriage. But, shortly after their marriage, Trina wins the lottery and gets five thousand dollars. Trina buys McTeague that golden bird that he always wanted, but then she wants to put the money away so that it could collect interest and McTeague can't even access it. As Trina becomes more and more obsessed with money, it becomes more important to her than her marriage. As if that is the worst of McTeague's problems. Marcus becomes greedy, because that would have been his money if he didn't let McTeague have Trina. McTeague becomes part of a large conflict, which leads to the most grim and surprising turn of events that not many could see coming.

"Greed" ends in Death Valley. I won't tell you how the characters get there, but it is on of the most grim, ironic endings ever. It's so sad, how money can do so much to people, and how it could take over their lives. Somebody told me about the golden bird. At the end of the movie, you know that it is going to die, and it is still stuck in it's cage. This person said that the bird did nothing to get into that situation, and it is going to die because of the greed and corruption of other people. I applaud that person for thinking of that, something that I didn't even think about.

At the end of this journey, I realized that this is one of the best movies ever. It's the kind of movie that makes me feel bad for the modern day teenagers that wants to see a good movie, and then they watch a horrible thriller like "The Grudge" which I already trashed. This is the good stuff. Just because it is a silent movie doesn't mean that it is bad. Open you minds and tastes to the movies that were the foundation of what you watch today. This movie is a masterpiece, and it's characters are so sad to watch, as they change from the first minute to the last second. I felt like Stroheim did when he saw the finished work, and how the movie was destroyed based on what he had. I wanted to see the rest. . . I wanted to see what we were meant to see. This movie has to come out on DVD, so that everybody could see what an amazing thing film it really is.


Not Rated, but I would rate it PG for thematical elements and a brief violent image.
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If you watch only one silent film in your lifetime, it should probably be Erich von Stoheim's GREED, a film--even in truncated form--of such artistry and power that it will forever wipe away any thought you may have of silent film being a "lesser" art form.
The story line is serious, following the lives of a San Franciso dentist, his wife, and his friend over the course of several years. Although rather dim and socially inept, all three are reasonably good natured--until the dentist's wife's lottery winnings sparks a gradual competition for the money between all three, a competition that will ultimately have lethal results. Played with tremendous restrait with Zasu Pitts a particular standout, director von Stroheim's powerful vision horrified most critics and audiences when first released--and it continues to shock even to this day.
The running time varies depending on the particular cut, but most versions run well over two hours. A must-see, must-own for any serious student or admirer of cinema arts, a film to which you will return again and again.
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on October 22, 1999
I would give this unrivaled masterpiece ten stars if possible. What's really maddening is that every year when would-be and never-was movie historians put together their hysterical list of "100 Greatest Movies of All Time", it's always "Citizen Kane" at the very top. Which goes to show how illiterate these critics are. It was "Greed", "Intolerance" and Cecil DeMille's underated "The Cheat" (1915), which really paved the way for Orson Welles. "Greed" is an amazing experience to sit through. I've seen it 50 times (the beautifully restored version put together by Thames and Turner Entertainment" should win awards about the restoration of an ancient movie)and each time you're left stunned. The acting, the masterful sets and camera angles alone should be this at the very top of the "Greatest 10 or 100 movies of all time". In the video version at least, the wonderful musical score enhances this movie a l00 fold. Bravo to von Stroheim, a forgotten genius who should be studied religiously and his movies looked upon as landmark film making.
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on February 11, 2000
The history of this film is almost notorious. Austrian-American Von Stroheim (he added the aristocratic "von") suffered mercilessly at the hands of studio conformity in the period that the Hollywood film industry was trying to get rid of the "independent" director. I highly recommend this film although we couldn't label it as Stroheim's "baby". Recently, however, many missing pieces were unearthed, which allowed for a near-complete reconstruction of the original recordings. One cable channel (AMC I belief) aired this new "old" version of "Greed", restoring not only this classic picture, but equally, Stroheim's shattered dream of bringing out his own (lengthy) rendition of Norris's "McTeague" novel. I recommend watching both versions in a row. The Death Valley scene, by the way, was filmed on location under the weight of 130 Fahrenheit!
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on March 8, 2002
greed is not only the greatest silent film of all time,it is arguably the greatest film of all time period. it is cetainly the most ambitous,originaly running close to 9 hours in lentgh and bieng filmed on location in all the exact spots that are claimed in the book. to my knowledge no one has before or since filmed a movie from a book with every single line of the book on every page included in the film. the book is McTeague written by frank norris in 1899. von stroheim claims he read the book while literally starving as an extra. a dark tragic tale of a simple man who trys to be nothing but good but gets caught up in tragedy and eventually murder,a victim of cicumstances beyond his control.mcteague becomes a dentist and falls in love with trina who is bieng courted by her cousin marcus. marcus and mcteague are close friends and one day after telling marcus that he {mcteague} is in love with trina,marcus lets mcteague have her.soon they plan to be married and then discover that trina has won a lottery wich disolves the friendship of marcus and mcteague. after the wedding trina becomes more and more obssessed and cheaper and greedier wich splits her and her simple minded husband. to divulge any more of the plot would do an injustice to any who wish to see it.the couple slowly descend into a madness that overtakes all involved.moody dark and deeply involving i highly recommend the four hour version wich reveals some of the subplots that were cut from the original 9 hour film.
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on August 16, 2009
I saw "Greed" on french tv years ago and afterwards was able to lend the VHS edition from the Antwerp city library(God bless 'm for thinking beyond blockbusters)...and yes it is truly a masterpiece...but why, when there is a specialized but quite triving marked for silent films on dvd, hasn't there been ANY release of this masterpiece on dvd??There is now a 4+ hour restauration(the most fully realized so far) available...somewhere...but not on dvd..
This film is so important in film history it's like someone would have forgotten to put "Citizen Kane" or "battleship Potemkin" out on dvd ?..Film marketeers :do they even have a clue ?
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on October 18, 2010
The film is quintessential, the VHS tape, so-so.
How come Turner hasn't yet released it on DVD?
There must be a policy of urgency to make all these great silent films owned by Turner available on DVD or Blu-Ray.
They must be seen by any one who is slightly interested in film.
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Greed meant for Stroheim his signature which let him establish a timeless commitment with the art in the highest sense of the exppression.
Greed talks about the eternal human condition . Stroheim shows us with no mercy horror , the deep and dark regions of the human soul.
There are images far beyond its own time , through the melting images he gets a rapport with our sensibility and our rational mood , without any kind of explanation . And we have to recognize a certain shakesperian mood in what this point means.
The ending sequence in the Death Valley youn may consider one of the most shocking and creative solutions ever given for a defiat script like this one .
This film will be a classical for a long long time , because it owns the trademark of the immortality . The questions he talks about don't belong to a specific moment of the story . The genius is always contemporanean.
Acquire this giant masterpiece!
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on August 26, 2000
"Greed" is one of those films whose history is as interesting as the film itself. Von Stroheim had absolute control over the task of filming the Frank Morris novel "McTeague." Von Stroheim expanded the novel, filming an incredible 96 hours of footage! After editing, the film was cut to 8 hours. Executives at MGM demanded an appropriate length for theaters, so the film was cut to just under three hours. The version I saw ran about two hours. Even under such sliced-up conditions, "Greed" stands as a masterpiece of one of the oldest stories of mankind: the lust for wealth by man. The film brilliantly captures the madness that people go through in their attempts to gain riches. The ending in Death Valley is one of the unforgettable moments in film. A film for the ages.
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